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Album review

Radio One Chicago

88.7 FM

Album Review

"Comprised of musicians affiliated with Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, Charming Axe (vocalists Eugenia Elliott and Hannah Hill and vocalist/guitarist Rob Newhouse) delivers Gathering Days, a fine addition to the folk music canon. Gathering Days, a mix of originals and covers, kicks off with a take on James Taylor's "Close Your Eyes"; breathtaking three-part harmonies and church organ hook the listener immediately. The Newhouse original "Beyond the Blue" follows suit splendidly; contemporary bluegrass with lovely mandolin courtesy of album producer Rich Rankin. Other highlights include an update of the Dolly Parton/Porter Wagoner country chestnut "The Pain of Loving You," Eugenia Elliot's original "Supper Song," "All Through the Night" (written by Jules Shear; a hit for Cyndi Lauper; arranged here as a folk lullaby), Chris Hillman's "Price I Pay" and "One Day I Walk," a Bruce Cockburn composition and one of the moodier pieces collected here. Gathering Days collects songs (some borrowed, some blue, all terrific) and delivers the goods; this is grown-up folk music made by some of Chicago's best singers and players."

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